- 9:21 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Six days ago, on the eve of the Braves’ “Zombie Night” promotion at Turner Field, I wrote a column on the Braves’ seeming march into the regular season afterlife and the reasons manager Fredi Gonzalez needed to bench the struggling B.J Upton. At that point, they had lost 12 of 15 games and 17 of 26 since the All-Star break.
A follow-up blog and cartoon posed the question to you, “Is the fat lady singing” on their season?” Most readers believed yes. I certainly believed yes. When it comes to the division race, I still think yes. But it [More]
- 8:39 am Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
So is it over?
The Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 Thursday. If you missed the almost-too-perfect inglorious ending, here’s a free link to my column on the game.
In brief, Justin Upton had to leave the game with a strained hamstring. His lesser brother B.J., who had been benched from the starting lineup because he’s hitting .209, was sent in as a pinch runner. He stayed in the game, and, of course, wound up being the key at-bat in the ninth inning. With runners on second and third base, B.J., batting in Justin’s spot, struck out.
The strikeout numbers [More]
- 9:00 am Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
As the Braves begin to slide out of the playoff race — or at least show no sign of having interest in it — they also are sliding off the radar in Atlanta.
Crowds for the first two games of the weekend series against Washington last week drew over 30,000 but the Sunday night game saw only 18,191 in the stadium. I realize it was the night before the first day of school for many kids, but for a late-summer weekend series against the Nationals with first place on the line, the numbers were disappointing. It also was stunning that the [More]
- 9:19 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The Braves are back home after an eight-game road trip. There will be no parade today.
They lost all eight games — swept in consecutive series in Los Angeles, San Diego and Seattle. It’s the first time something like that has happened since the 1949 Boston Braves went 0-8 on a trip. That’s so long ago that, as historian David O’Brien noted, Warren Spahn was in the starting rotation.
More miserable numbers: The Braves scored only 18 runs in the eight games (three of which went extra innings) for an average of 2.25 runs per game. They also are 6-13 since [More]
- 9:01 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
UPDATE: As you probably know by now, the Braves made a minor trade, dealing catching prospect Victor Caratini to the Chicago Cubs for utilityman Emilio Bonifacio and left-handed reliever James Russell. It was exactly the kind of deal that general manager Frank Wren was expected to make, but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough to get the Braves to the postseason because of fundamental flaws on the roster and in the clubhouse. I wrote a full column on this topic over at MyAJC.com. Here’s a free link. Thanks, J
Good morning. The major league trade deadline is at [More]
- 11:30 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
You know that question some people have asked about the Braves: How is this team in first place? Well, there’s no reason to ask that question right now.
In losing to the last-place Philadelphia Phillies for the second straight game 5-2 Tuesday night, the Braves fell one-half game behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
The significance of a half-game deficit with 92 games to go? Bupkis.
The significance of scoring three runs in two games over 22 innings against a Phillies team that ranked third from the bottom in the National League in ERA (3.95), as well as committing two [More]
- 12:13 pm Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
For most of this season, the Braves have had problems with their offense.
For most of this season, the problems at least partly trace back to Dan Uggla and B.J. Upton.
But is it possible that two players who combine for $26.45 million in salary this season both will be on the bench soon? Uggla already has lost his starting second base job to rookie Tommy La Stella and Upton may soon lose his as well.
- 1:09 am Sunday, June 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
That a Braves’ hitter is in a tailspin is not unusual.
That it’s Freddie Freeman is like some nonsensical alternate universe.
Freeman has been one of the team’s best and certainly most consistent hitters since 2011. He was the team’s best player a year ago, hitting .319 with 23 homers, 109 RBIs and a team-leading OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of .897. When he hit .397 in the first 18 games this season, all seemed well. Then came weirdness with a .227 average in 48 games and .188 in the last 23 before Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Maybe Saturday [More]
- 9:13 am Monday, June 9th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
The Braves have lost three of their last four series (eight of 12 games) to drop into a three-way tie for first place in the National League East with Washington and Miami, neither of which have been very good, either.
This usually is when everybody picks a side in the world of sports’ debate extremes. It’s either: “The Braves are doomed because they stink, and I said so!” Or, “The Braves are golden because they’ve managed to hang in there with slumping players and … well, you just wait!”
I’ve never made it a secret that the Braves’ roster construction and [More]
- 3:29 pm Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
When the Braves signed Gavin Floyd as a fifth starter in the winter, they thought they needed him. Now that Floyd is ready to come off the disabled list, they don’t need him.
Problem: “Never mind” doesn’t work in the world of sports, particularly in the world of sports contracts.
Mike Minor will make his first start back from the disabled list Friday, which is expected to lead the Braves to send rookie David Hale going to the bullpen or Gwinnett (AAA). Floyd, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, made what was expected to be his final minor-league start Tuesday night [More]